Date: January, 2001
H.B. Abels (email@example.com)
H.B. Abels (firstname.lastname@example.org)
page: title: Retooling the Music author: Matt Pinfield Retooling The Music Tool's front man talks about the new box set and upcoming studio album. With their new studio album due in mid-April, alternative metal outfit Tool has released an interim box set that should keep fans happy until the band issues what will surely be one of next year's most eagerly awaited albums. The lavish package, which contains a CD and a DVD or a videocassette, features live performances, a few new studio creations and four videos. In this exclusive Farmclub.com interview, press-shy Tool front man Maynard James Keenan talks with Matt Pinfield about the new release, the upcoming studio album and the band's touring plans. He also offers his take on the value of music videos, cites some of the current music that he's listening to and talks about his other band, A Perfect Circle. MATT: How many hours of tapes did you have to go through in order to pick the live tracks for the new release? MAYNARD: Well, it wasn't that difficult to do, 'cause it's close to impossible to really capture a live show. So we went through and eliminated quite a few of the tapes right away because they're just useless. There's no way we could have used them because the recording was bad. So we only ended up choosing from maybe a handful of tapes and just kind of went through and found the best performances that we had available. MATT: Was there a particular reason for the tracks that you picked -- songs that you felt came across the best live? MAYNARD: Some of 'em were just a little different approaches to the songs. We don't really wanna put out a greatest hits record with live tracks. We kinda wanted more to put out some various versions of the tracks...different arrangements, different approaches. MATT: Whose idea was it to cover Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter"? MAYNARD: We all kinda decided on that one. It was between that and "Nobody's Fault But Mine." MATT: What about the tracks "LAMC" and "Message To Harry Manback II"? MAYNARD: "LA Municipal Court" is definitely a tribute to life in L.A. If you've ever been in L.A. trying to go down and take care of a parking ticket, or call and try to get some information as to how to take care of a parking ticket, or a jaywalking ticket, or something as ridiculous as that, you really realize how sick the red tape is out here. It's retarded. Most people who've ever been in that situation can relate to that song, and I think we did a pretty good job of capturing the tedium that goes along with that, to the point where people go, "That was a great song. It really summed up that feeling, and I never want to hear that song again [laughs]." MATT: Because it hits too close to home [laughs]. MAYNARD: Yeah. And they're just sittin' there goin', "This is killin' me." "Probably in a year or so, we'll actually put out some backstage footage, some behind-the-scenes making-of-the-videos footage, and our new videos as well, and really do more of an interactive DVD." -- Keenan MATT: What about "Message To Harry Manback II"? MAYNARD: That's just the second message from the gentleman leaving that message. MATT: When it came time to put together the video portion of the box set, how did you feel working in the DVD medium? MAYNARD: It's definitely one of those things where I'm sure we'll end up coming up with some other footage and different stuff that we haven't put out and really explore the DVD a little farther. But at this point in time, we just figured we'll put out this and we'll put out some live stuff. But probably in a year or so, we'll actually put out some backstage footage, some behind-the-scenes making-of-the- videos footage, and our new videos as well, and really do more of an interactive DVD that involves your computer and your Internet service and all that. MATT: Was part of the decision to release the videos based on the fact that you felt that MTV and other video outlets had never given the videos the exposure they deserved and you wanted your fans to have them? MAYNARD: Yeah. And if I had any advice to younger bands that are all starstruck with the whole industry, I would say, "Don't make a video," because there's no outlet for them. Unless you're gonna make some crazy, awesome video that you don't care if it ever gets played on MTV...if it's more of a thing that you're gonna sell, go for it. Do something like that, go nuts. There's no longer any real actual outlet for your video to promote your record -- unless you're just gonna do it on your web page, and most people don't have the computer or the technology necessary to really get a decent view of the video. You're better off utilizing the web to promote your videos. But by no means should you go nuts and do huge budgets at this point, unless you're an established band and you just want to. 'Cause at this point, there's no way to really make your money back on those videos and they don't necessarily promote your record nowadays. It's not like a make-or-break situation, and the way things are going, budgets for videos are huge now. Nobody's being real creative with their budgets. 'Cause it really comes down to ideas. If you have cool ideas, you can make it work with 100 bucks. But nowadays everyone's going for the big budgets and I think the creativity is lacking because you give yourself so many choices that you kinda get paralyzed in a way. MATT: How are the sessions for the new Tool album going? MAYNARD: Done. We're mixing. MATT: Have you picked a name for it yet? MAYNARD: No. We'll just name it after it's out. MATT: What was it like going back into the studio with the guys? MAYNARD: Well, we've been writing that music for several years. A lot of those riffs we've been kinda exploring on and off for the last four years. The whole litigation thing, and all the new Volcano court stuff kinda put a hold on all that back in the day. But we just kinda jumped back into what we were working on and completed it and here we are. MATT: When you finish mixing the record, you're going to tour with A Perfect Circle. MAYNARD: Yeah. We're gonna go two months throughout the states. MATT: After you're done with that tour, is there talk about doing a Tool trek? MAYNARD: Yeah. We're gonna do a few dates in Europe, and then head back and do a fall tour of the states. MATT: Are you going to do a multimedia show like you did at Lollapalooza? MAYNARD: Yeah, I think so, with both tours. With the Perfect Circle tour and the Tool tour, we're gonna be exploring. Of course, they'll be different experiences, but definitely Billy [Howerdel of A Perfect Circle] is a very visual person, so he's exploring some interesting stuff for the show. And for Tool, of course, we'll be exploring some new ideas. MATT: You've talked in the past about some of the bands that you love. Have you heard anything recently that you think people should check out? MAYNARD: Yeah, definitely. Massive Attack and Tricky and Portishead, all that stuff. The new PJ Harvey record is amazing, and the Radiohead record is amazing. And I still always go back to Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile." I don't think enough people have heard that one. That's definitely a sleeper that's gonna creep up on people if they just give it a chance. It's gonna be one of those records you're never gonna want to take out of your stereo. MATT: We've talked about all of the things that you're doing with A Perfect Circle and Tool. Are you going to keep writing with Billy? MAYNARD: Yeah. He's got a bunch of songs ready. I just haven't allowed him to give them to me yet. My head is in the Tool camp so I wanna really focus on where I'm at, and once this record is mixed and done, then he's gonna drop a bunch of songs in my lap to work on for the next year.
Posted to t.d.n: 01/11/01 17:35:21